PHD #369: Three-Oh
Summary: Cidra bequeaths a birthday present to Sawyer.
Date: 02 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: Some.
Cidra Sawyer 
Ancient Ship
Stored in the Starboard Hangar deck is a transport vessel - smaller than a craft like the Elpis but clearly designed for long-term travel. It takes up a good portion of the hangar by itself, and its entry is under guard 24/7 by Marine personnel. It's oddly shaped - seemingly built along more curves and gentle lines than standard ship design, and has a decidedly 'alien' quality to it. Neither much like any comparable human ship, or anything the Cylons traffic in. It's shape calls to mind a whale more than anything else, a curved 'tail' at one end and round 'head' at the other, elongated body with a fat 'belly' of a mid-section. There's an entrance of sorts in the 'tail' section with a walk-way rigged to make going in easy enough. From its size, it was originally made for small ships such as shuttles - not people - to walk through.

The room one enters into is more a 'foyer,' or some other communal gathering place, than a traditional hangar. The ceiling is domed and rounded over head. The curve of the 'whale's' 'tail.' A large entry foyer, or common area. The 'floor' is bare, though there are openings in the walls. Alcoves. Thirteen of them. While there is an arched doorway at the opposite end of the room, this one made for people, but it's likewise guarded and those without clearance aren't allowed to pass.

The walls are covered in thirteen large mural-like paintings. Almost more akin to cave paintings than anything else. Each positioned over the thirteen small alcoves with benches where one could sit. Twelve of those might be familiar to those learned in Colonial scripture, or just the lore of their own colony. A thirteenth, however, would not be a thing any of them have encountered before in any recognizable way.
Post-Holocaust Day: #369

Cidra little real 'downtime' these days, with the Swarm still plaguing the Fleet. Even if it is dampened by the radiation clouds of Audumbla. Still, today her off-shift hours are actually being spent off-shift. Tucked away in one of the alcoves in the 'foyer' of the ancient ship, where she's supposedly spending a good deal of her downtime these days. She messaged Sawyer earlier and asked the reporter to meet her here 'at her earliest convenience.' She now waits, sitting on one of the benches in her flight suit, a rather restless and contemplative look about her.

Earliest convenience just happens to be now, which is rather shortly after Sawyer received the note. When you're limited by Condition Two to One to Two bouncing back and forth, your staff is gone, and all your friends are busy because they're military: you don't have a lot to do. Even if the reporter has been on the ship previously, she still pauses when entering that odd foyer of the vessel, having to get a good look around and of course a good stare at that odd thirteenth symbol. With a shudder, she proceeds further inside, calling, "Cid?" To both announce herself and try and locate her friend.

Out pokes Cidra's head from the alcove. Like some sort of burrowing creature popping up from its hole. "Sawyer. Hello." The reporter is greeted with a faint smile, albeit a genuine one. Her eyes follow Sawyer's to the thirteenth symbol. "Very strange, is it not? And yet it draws the eye…I studied some of the older practices of the Faiths at the Colleges, but of that I have never seen the like…"

Sawyer's eyes widen with that 'ah' realization of 'there you are', and her steps change in that direction. "Disturbing is what it is. Like a black hole, trying to suck you in or a giant eyeball glaring right at you. Something about this place makes me feel as if I've sinned just by strolling in here. You know, I've always had a respect for the religions, just never a real comprehension of any." Without real invitation, she slips into that alcove with Cidra, appropriating herself a seat.

"It makes me feel like a child…" Cidra says softly as Sawyer approaches. "Kobol and the Exodus were things I learned about, read about, in the histories. And yet to see proof of them, to touch it…you never think you will come face to face with some proof of it. It makes it all…real somehow. Part of me is afraid of it. Part of me…I have been sleeping here some nights when I can. Praying the gods will speak to me in some way. They have not come. Yet I feel…smaller here, and there is a peace to that. The worlds and time are much bigger than all of us, and it is good to remember that…" She clears her throat. "Anyhow. I hope this place does not make you too uncomfortable. Though I do owe you some manner of…pay back, I believe is the phrase." She smiles a touch more, inscrutably.

Sawyer leans her head back against the wall, fixing Cidra with a little smile. "Payback for making you uncomfortable? I guess that's what friends are for." Her eyes flick to the main spanse of the room. "Oh, I'm alright. I guess I'm one of the skeptics. I find my comfort in hard facts, and that's one thing we can say we don't have in this case. Just a lot of…faith. That's the great thing about our friendship, Cid. We're complete opposites in some ways, and yet it just…works." A pause. "Is it sacreligious to smoke in here, you think?"

Cidra shifts her eyes a bit. "I…hope not," she says. She has an ashtray sitting on the bench she's presently seated on. While she's not puffing away at the moment, it does look used. "I have not been struck by lightning yet, at any rate. And yes. For making me uncomfortable. After a fashion. You know, when thinking back over how we managed to be friends I cannot quite recall precisely how it all came together. But you are perhaps the most functional relationship I have." Said dry, though it's not a joke. She picks up something else on the bench beside her. A rectangular object (it looks like a book, really), wrapped in what looks like surplus supply paper. "Happy birhday."

"It's because you haven't slept with me yet." Sawyer says simply, her smile growing. Motions of digging out a cigarette are stayed, because she's being presented with a gift. A gift! "This is very sweet of you. I'd say you shouldn't have, but we'd both know I was lying. Who doesn't love presents?" Hands make the gimme-gimme motion, looking ready to tear into that paper.

"Presents are nice," Cidra agrees with another of those faint smiles. "Open it." She sounds eager as she hands the package over, despite herself. "I was going to attempt to make something. But I am…not crafty. Still, I do hope you like it." As the reporter tears into it, she'll find a book of poetry. "A Poet's Dream" by Caprican poet Kataris, precisely. It looks well-worn, certain parts of it highlighted.

Fingers do not appreciate the fact that wrapping paper of any type is hard to come by, and the reporter literally does rip into without the sense to try and preserve it for future use. Once the book is revealed, Sawyer turns it over in her hands, reading the title, feeling the binding and finally cracking it open for a little sneak peak. "This is really wonderful, thank you Cidra." The lack of new reading material she /does/ appreciate, and one that seems so personal to the CAG is more than icing on the case. "I'd hate for you to part with it…"

Cidra shakes her head dismissively. "If I have want of a particular lyric I can always borrow it. Besides, I have derived much pleasure from it, and it is my hope you shall as well. I first read that volume in college." She smiles, ever so slight. "I think I fell in love for the first time because of it, really."

Sawyer closes the pages and clutches the small tome to her chest. "Thank you, Cidra. Really. If it was so dear to you, it shall always be dear to me." As is their way, the journalist leans forward to give Cidra a sisterly smack on the lips by way of thank you. "This has been the best birthday, which is surprising to say given the end of the worlds."

Cidra kisses Sawyer back briefly, in that pseudo-ceremonial way of hers. "Coming so close to the day the worlds fell, your last I do not imagine could have been a good one. Well. I hope this year brings us all happier things than the latter one did. Perhaps that is why I come here so often now. It *feels* like this ship is a good omen. Even if it came to us before the Swarm. Perhaps it does herald dark things. But it *feels*…I do not know. Perhaps I look for good omens everywhere, even in matters that do not hold them."

"Well then I shouldn't ruin it for you by suggesting that maybe the Cylons beat us to the ancient ship first, and put some sort of homing beacon on it because they knew we'd find it eventually. And possibly take it to study." Nope, Sawyer shouldn't do that. "I wish I had your optimism." The book gets carefully settled in her lap, and she finally finishes with lighting up her cigarette, offering it then to Cidra to share as they have the chamala in the past.

"Engineering had the same idea," Cidra says, as to the ancient ship. She takes a deep breath, letting it out slow. "They went over this creation top to bottom in search of a beacon. Transponder. Something. Came up dry. Thank you." The last to the offer of a puff off the cigarette, which she takes quick, then hands it back. "Would it be impolite to ask how old you are?" Well, she just did, after a fashion.

Sawyer flips the cigarette back around to her own lips, taking a long puff of it. Really long. Like crazy she doesn't really want to answer that question long. "Thirty." There's almost a little wince at the corner of Sawyer's eyes, and a shrug of 'what are you going to do'. "Good thing though: means I'm far too old for that one nugget."

"Mister Wright?" Cidra laughs at that. "I would say that boy had best be careful or he shall get himself slapped one of these days, but I do suspect he would enjoy it. And if thirty is old…well…" She winces slight. "I will be forty, come next August. So. Where did you think you be, come thirty? Back on Virgon, home in the suburbs, shelf full of journalistic prizes of grand repute?"

"Seriously? The man's name is Mister Wright? Mister. Right. Surely that fact alone has gotten him laid." Sawyer has a little laugh at the absent Shiner's expense, a coarse sounding thing thanks to the cigarette she's smoking. "Mmm." The journalist's demeanor mellows with the what-if game. "I never wanted a home. Not a real one. I wanted my life to be on the road where I just phoned in my correspondence and could never show up for those journalistic award ceramonies because I was called away to some remote little hell hole where there was breaking news at the last minute."

"Or Mister Wright Now," Cidra quips, one of those dry little jokes from her that seem to come out of nowhere. She chuckles. "I did not want a home anymore either, really. Stopped wanting it when my husband died. It was easier in a way, was it not? Bouncing from place to place. Assignment to assignment. You could just let your life…brush over people. Never digging in too deep." Another chuckle. "I guess that thinking was blown away, too. We are none of us going anywhere."

"It was the perfect scenario. Get to do what I loved, travel, and if I ever got lonely…" It goes without saying that Sawyer had her share of fly by night relationships, and so Sawyer doesn't bother to say. "Now, there is no such thing. You have to face every decision you make, every person you've wronged, every feeling you've tried to ignore. Because now it's there. It's always there. The fleet is only so big, and there are only so many places to hide."

"If I ever got lonely…well, one of us would probably be transferring to another assignment in six months or so," Cidra says with a nod. She understands that much. "So where was the harm in having some fun, yes? Well all have to live with each other now. Wherever we end up sleeping at night." She shrugs, looking at the reporter sidelong. "But sometimes it can be very nice still, yes?"

"I sort of gave up on it after Rene-Marie and Sitka. When bad decisions stick around to haunt you, some of the fun tends to go out of it." Yes, the journalist just copped to sleeping with Military Enemy Number One, but the old Viper reserve squadron lead perhaps Cidra knew about.

Cidra blinks, confused at those names paired together. "Rene-Marie and Sitka? What did Ibrahim have to do with that little rat of a man?" It takes her a moment to fully process how Sawyer is connecting the two. Which prompts another blink. And widening of her blue eyes. "Oh…I…oh my…" This is clearly new information.

Sawyer just merely mmms, "They both had their charms." Is all Sawyer offers up by way of explanation. "Rene-Marie is in fact a little rat of a man. Now. Now that I've been forced to get to know him better. Back then? He was just a fun attractive man with hair better than mine and a scarf fetish. Little did I know that QUODEL would be become a permanent placement."

Cidra takes a moment to integrate this information into her brain, holding out her fingertips. She wants another drag on that cigarette. "Is that why you took to not sleeping in the berths?" Presumably in reference to Sitka, not Rene-Marie. She smiles, ever so slight. "I learned a great more than I wanted to know about that man's intimate life after he died. Well. Good for him, I do suppose." She chuckles soft. "As for Mister Rene-Marie…I shall take your word for it. I have certainly done worse. I did call the CAG of the Areion a skinjob during our own relations, after all." She winces.

Sawyer happily obliges with passing over the cigarette, as it's something to occupy herself with so that the conversation doesn't make her brow furrow. Too much at least. "My bunk was right above Sitka's. Not as if I knew whenever he took up with a new fling, but I certainly didn't want to, either. We were fighting at the time, and I was working a lot. It seemed a better choice then to shit where I ate, or however the expression goes. And then? Then there was Kal, bringing me a hammock because I kept falling asleep at my desk. Who knew?"

Cidra takes a drag, nodding a little as she exhales long, and passes it back to Sawyer. "You know, it is funny. I did used to think of Ibrahim and Bootstrap as my right and left hands. Purely speaking in a professional manner, of course." She smiles ever so slight, to make sure it's clear it's a joke. "I can understand that. Sometimes I regret taking up with Dominic again. And other times…well. He has been a comfort to me when I needed it. There is no shame in that, if two people can give that to each other."

"I certainly didn't mean for it to happen." Sawyer clears her throat, looking a little abashed. "But for the record? I changed my prior assessment of Kal. He is, most definitely, interested.'

"Kal Trask is a…difficult man," Cidra says. Understatement, that. "But if you have found something real together…I am most happy for you, Sawyer." And does she sound a touch envious? Perhaps. "And for Bootstrap, he would be a fool not to be. Do enjoy the poems. Some of them are quite…" She pauses, laughing soft. "Enjoy them."

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